Hero Maestro Edge vs Honda Activa 3G vs TVS Jupiter: Comparison Test

17 March 2016, 10:40 AM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

 

Hero MotoCorp has done a great job with the Maestro Edge. We said that in our first ride report. And honestly, it is a scooter we would happily recommend to many. But, since we first rode it, there’s one question we wanted an answer to: Is the Hero Maestro Edge the best 110cc scooter in the market today? To find out, we have lined up two worthy benchmarks. In the shiny grey corner is the Honda Activa. It is India’s highest selling scooter and has been so for what seems like eternity. In the not-so-shiny – or let’s just say matte – grey corner is the TVS Jupiter. The Jupiter sells well too but we have it here because as far as 110cc scooters go, it really is the benchmark in more areas than one.

 

Looks & Styling

Not so much in terms of styling, though. Between the three, the Hero Maestro Edge is without a doubt the best-looking scooter. It has creases and sharp lines and change in surfaces and lots of detailing all round. It makes both the Honda Activa and the TVS Jupiter look dated. The Hero also has the best-looking clocks and a smart flip-to-open lid for the fuel filler on top the tail lamps. And the tail lamps – LED units – look modern and upmarket too.

The talking point for the Jupiter, meanwhile, has to be the paint finish. Its design, like the Activa, is traditional, but the matte grey finish looks terrific. There’s also better detailing on the scooter like the switchgear and click-to-open rear footpegs. The Activa – even though it was recently upgraded – still looks old in the tooth. It too has a few swipes and creases, but it’s still no match for the younger and hipper looking Hero.

Hero Maestro Edge: 6/10

Honda Activa 3G: 4/10

TVS Jupiter: 5/10

 

Ergonomics & Quality

 

The Hero is our pick here as well. It has a higher set handlebar, a firm but comfy and large seat, and a floorboard that’s neither too close nor too low compared to the seat. It is also the best scooter – comfort wise – for a pillion. Again, the seat firmness and size, as well as the placement of the rear footpegs is nearly spot-on. There’s little to fault with the Maestro Edge’s quality either. The plastic all round is up to class standard, the paint finish is good and the working of the switchgear leaves little to complain about. The only drawback of sorts is the matte paint finish; it just isn’t as good as on the TVS.

Apart from the paint finish, the Jupiter also runs the Hero close when it comes to overall quality levels. In fact, the two are absolutely at par. But, the Jupiter does nudge ahead when it comes to functionality. The TVS is the easiest to put on the centre stand; it has the most logical placement for seat and fuel lid opening and it gets a flasher. Seating comfort though isn’t the Jupiter’s strongpoint and that’s mainly down to the soft seat, which begins to feel uncomfortable early in the commute.

As for the Activa, it definitely has the most familiar seating. Whether you have owned a scooter or not, chances are you must have ridden one or at least sat on one while you waited for your wife, girlfriend or colleague to arrive. But that doesn’t make it great. It’s comfortable, we will give it that, and over longer rides, maybe more so than even the Jupiter. But it still can’t match the Hero. Ditto when it comes to quality and operability as well as the attention to detail. It just feels like it needs a major overhaul and not minor updates.

Hero Maestro Edge

Hero Maestro Edge

  • Displacement110 cc
  • Mileage - ARAI51 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)8.31 bhp
  • Kerb Weight110 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 54,580

Hero Maestro Edge: 7/10

Honda Activa 3G: 5/10

TVS Jupiter: 6/10

Features & Technology

Not surprisingly, the Honda Activa brings up the tail here. Everything about this Honda is conventional from its clocks to its switchgear to the placement of the fuel filler and even the suspension setup. It is also the only scooter here to get steel wheels. It does have one positive though – Combi-brakes. This system brakes the front wheel to a degree even when only the rear brakes are applied.

The Maestro Edge has the same tech that functions in exactly the same way but Hero calls it Integrated Braking system. Apart from this, Hero also gets alloy wheels (and a larger 12-inch one at the front), telescopic front forks, the most comprehensive instrumentation and a light in the underseat stowage bay.

The Jupiter too gets 12-inch alloy wheels and telescopic forks but in every other regard concerning features, it trails the Hero.

Hero Maestro Edge: 6/10

Honda Activa 3G: 4/10

TVS Jupiter: 5/10

Engine & Performance

The Activa is India’s largest selling scooter, by miles. And we think we know why. The engine. Neither the Jupiter nor the Maestro Edge comes close to the Honda’s performance. Its 8bhp, 109.1cc engine is the smoothest, most vibe-free and quietest in this test. It also has the most seamless CVT engagement. And when you whack open the throttle, it posts the quickest acceleration times. The Activa also has the crispest throttle response, the most linear acceleration and the highest top speed.

The TVS Jupiter isn’t bad either. It too displaces 109cc but makes 7.8bhp of max power. The TVS unit is also down on torque a bit. On the road, it can’t keep up with the Activa under flat out acceleration and it can’t match the Honda’s top speed either. It does come close in terms of refinement and vibe-free performance, though. And the power delivery is linear as well for the most part. It’s only under hard acceleration that the Jupiter bogs a bit in the mid range.

The Hero, however, finds itself struggling here. It shares the same engine capacity as the TVS and the Honda, but on paper it makes more power; only slightly, but more nonetheless. But its heavier kerb weight and less than average power delivery make it significantly slower. Launching the scooter off a traffic light only results in severe bogging with the power coming on as if it were on a drip. It’s only once the revs rise a bit that the Edge begins to accelerate the way a 110cc scooter should. To make things worse, it is also the noisiest and one with the most vibrations in this test.

Hero Maestro Edge: 4/10

Honda Activa 3G: 6/10

TVS Jupiter: 5/10

Ride, Handling & Braking

How the scooters perform on these three aspects is mostly down to the suspension setup these run, given that the three weigh nearly the same and use exactly the same chassis layout.

The Activa with its trailing-link front suspension returns the harshest ride. It isn’t too bad at slower speeds. But, as speeds rise and as the bumps and potholes get more pronounced, so do the noise, the vibrations and the jolts the Activa transmits. As far as handling and braking go, the Activa feels the twitchiest of the lot.

The Jupiter feels more composed. It tracks surer in a straight line, brakes with more bite and feel, and the ride quality – especially at low speeds – is the plushest among the three scooters. The TVS uses telescopic forks up front and runs on 12-inch tyres compared to the 10 inchers on the Honda, and this alone brings stability to the system, especially over poor roads. The Jupiter’s front also runs a soft setup which works great at slower speeds and even over no roads. But at anything over 60kmph, even the slightest of square-edged bumps can send a rude shock to the rider.

In that sense the Hero probably runs the best setup. Like the TVS it runs telescopic forks and a 12-inch front wheel (the rear is a 10 incher like the Activa) but the Maestro Edge isn’t as softly sprung. So, at slow speeds its front might bob around a bit, but over broken roads, potholes or even square-edged bumps, and no matter what speed, the Maestro not only isolates its rider from shocks better than the other two, it feels the most stable as well. It also feels reassuring in a straight line, and like the Jupiter, brakes without drama.

Hero Maestro Edge: 6/10

Honda Activa 3G: 4/10

TVS Jupiter: 6/10

Fuel Efficiency

Here again, Honda’s strength as an engine maker comes to the fore. As mentioned above the Activa is the quickest scooter here and one that recorded the highest top speed. But that’s not all: the Honda Activa also turned out to be the most fuel-efficient scooter on this test. On our city route it returned 61.3kmpl.

The Jupiter came in next with 56.4kmpl and the Hero – the slowest scooter here – also proved to be the least efficient. It returned 51.2kmpl. Clearly, there’s some work that needs to be done by the Hero R&D on the Maestro Edge’s engine.

Hero Maestro Edge: 4/10

Honda Activa 3G: 6/10

TVS Jupiter: 5/10

Price & Warranty

The Honda Activa retails for Rs 60,601 and comes with a 2 year or 24,000km warranty. The TVS Jupiter is pricier by Rs 4,000 but gets the same warranty. The Hero Maestro Edge, meanwhile, is the priciest at ?Rs 65,686 – all prices on the road in Mumbai – but the Hero also comes with 5 year or 50,000km warranty. What do we make of it? Well, the Hero is the best specced and with that warranty, the price premium over the Activa does seem justified, at least on paper. As for the premium on the Jupiter, which is probably courtesy alloy wheels with larger tyres, seems a tad steep.

Hero Maestro Edge: 7/10

Honda Activa 3G: 7/10

TVS Jupiter: 6/10

Desirability

Scooters, especially at this price point and such with average performance, aren’t exactly desirable. These are all about utility. But, if we had to rate them, the Hero would be number one based on its styling and the features it offers. The Jupiter would come in next and the Activa would bring up the tail for being so common and having an uninspiring design. It’s also the least feature-rich.

Hero Maestro Edge: 5/10

Honda Activa 3G: 4/10

TVS Jupiter: 5/10

Verdict

Honda Activa: Rank 3

Final Score: 50/100

Price: Rs 60,601, OTR, Mumbai

 

The biggest strength of the Honda Activa is its engine. Not only has it proved to be reliable but it is also the most refined, the best tuned and the most efficient. But, as a scooter overall, the Activa just doesn’t cut it in this company. It feels old, poorly specced and just isn’t up there with the rest as a package one might own and flaunt. It isn’t the most comfortable either.

 

TVS Jupiter: Rank 2

Final Score: 53/100

Price: Rs 64,400, OTR, Mumbai

The benchmark scooter has finally met its match. And though it is still a good product and betters the Activa is more ways than one, it treads the middle ground on most aspects. Take engine performance, fuel economy, features or even styling, and the TVS just does enough to keep you interested but nothing to excite the new-age scooter buyer. You can’t go wrong with the Jupiter but that pride of ownership is lacking compared to the Hero.

 

Hero Maestro Edge: Rank 1

Final Score: 55/100

Price: Rs 65,686, OTR, Mumbai

Our winner then is the Maestro Edge. Sure, it has its shortcomings but those are all engine related. Moreover, the Hero isn’t exactly that far behind on the performance or fuel economy fronts for one to ignore it completely. It’s also the most expensive, we agree, but then it also has the best warranty. Mostly though, as a scooter, it offers so much more. Take the styling, the quality, and the attention to detail; the features, the ride and handling balance and the overall convenience; and there’s a lot more to like in the Maestro Edge than to overlook it. 

Photography by Kapil Angane

Final Scores

 Parameters/Models  Max Points Hero Maestro Edge TVS Jupiter Honda Activa 3G
 Rank    1  2  3
 Looks & styling  10 6 5 4
 Ergonomics & Quality  10 7 6 5
 Features & Technology  10  6 5 4
 Engine & Gearbox  10 4 5 6
 Performance  10 4 5 6
 Ride quality  10 6 5 4
 Handling & Braking  10 6 6 4
 Fuel Efficiency  10 4 5 6
 Price & Warranty  10 7 6 7
 Desirablility  10 5 5 4
 Total  100  55 53 50
 Price (OTR, Mumbai)   Rs 65,686 Rs 64,400 Rs 60,601

Specifications

 MAKE Hero  TVS Honda
 Model Maestro Edge

Jupiter

Activa 3G
 POWER TRAIN      
 Engine Type Air-cooled Air-cooled Air-cooled
 Capacity 110.9cc 109.7cc 109.2cc
 Max Power  8.3bhp 7.9bhp 8bhp
 Max Torque  8.3Nm 8Nm 8.8Nm
 Gearbox CVT CVT CVT
 CYCLE PARTS      
 Chassis Under bone Under bone Under bone
 Supension F  Telescopic Telescopic Bottom linked
 Suspension R  Mono shock Mono shock  Mono shock
 Brakes F  130mm drum 130mm drum 130mm drum
 Brakes R 130mm drum 130mm drum 130mm drum
 Tyre F 90/100-12 Tubeless 90/90-12 Tubeless 90/100-10 Tubeless
 Tyre R 90/100-10 Tubeless 90/90-12 Tubeless 90/100-10 Tubeless 
 MEASURES      
 Fuel Tank  5.5 litres 5 litres 6 litres
 LxWxH  1841mm x 695mm x 1190mm 1834mm x 650mm x 1115mm 1761mm × 710mm × 1149mm
 Wheelbase  1261mm 1275mm  1238mm
 Kerb Weight  110kg 107kg  108kg
 COST      
 Price (OTR, Mumbai) Rs 65,686 Rs 64,400 Rs 60,601
 Warranty 5 years/70,000kms   2 years/24,000kms 2 years/24,000kms

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